Macroecological patterns of forest structure and allometric scaling in mangrove forests

Rovai, Andre S. and Twilley, Robert R. and Castaneda-Moya, Edward and Midway, Stephen R. and Friess, Daniel A. and Trettin, Carl C. and Bukoski, Jacob J. and Stovall, Atticus E. L. and Pagliosa, Paulo R. and Fonseca, Alessandra L. and Mackenzie, Richard A. and Aslan, Aslan and Sasmito, Sigit D. and Sillanpaa, Meriadec and Cole, Thomas G. and Purbopuspito, Joko and Warren, Matthew W. and Murdiyarso, Daniel and Mofu, Wolfram and Sharma, Sahadev and Tinh, Pham Hong and Riul, Pablo (2021) Macroecological patterns of forest structure and allometric scaling in mangrove forests. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 30 (5). pp. 1000-1013. ISSN 1466-822X, DOI

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Aim Mangrove wetlands span broad geographical gradients, resulting in functionally diverse tree communities. We asked whether latitudinal variation, allometric scaling relationships and species composition influence mangrove forest structure and biomass allocation across biogeographical regions and distinct coastal morphologies. Location Global. Time period Present. Major taxa studied Mangrove ecosystems. Methods We built the largest field-based dataset on mangrove forest structure and biomass to date (c. 2,800 plots from 67 countries) to address macroecological questions pertaining to structural and functional diversity of mangroves spanning biogeographical and coastal morphology gradients. We used frequentist inference statistics and machine learning models to determine environmental drivers that control biomass allocation within and across mangrove communities globally. Results Allometric scaling relationships and forest structural complexity were consistent across biogeographical and coastal morphology gradients, suggesting that mangrove biomass is controlled by regional forcings rather than by latitude or species composition. For instance, nearly 40% of the global variation in biomass was explained by regional climate and hydroperiod, revealing nonlinear thresholds that control biomass accumulation across broad geographical gradients. Furthermore, we found that ecosystem-level carbon stocks (average 401 +/- 48 MgC/ha, covering biomass and the top 1 m of soil) varied little across diverse coastal morphologies, reflecting regional bottom-up geomorphic controls that shape global patterns in mangrove biomass apportioning. Main conclusions Our findings reconcile views of wetland and terrestrial forest macroecology. Similarities in stand structural complexity and cross-site size-density relationships across multiscale environmental gradients show that resource allocation in mangrove ecosystems is independent of tree size and invariant to species composition or latitude. Mangroves follow a universal fractal-based scaling relationship that describes biomass allocation for several other terrestrial tree-dominated communities. Understanding how mangroves adhere to these universal allometric rules can improve our ability to account for biomass apportioning and carbon stocks in response to broad geographical gradients.

Item Type: Article
Funders: U.S. Forest Service International Programs, USAID Indonesia Forest and Climate Supports [Grant No: AG-3187-C-13-0010], National Science Foundation (NSF) [Grant No: DEB-1832229], Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPQ) Coordenacao de Aperfeicoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior (CAPES) [Grant No: BEX1930/13-3, BEX18379/12-5, BEX209666/13-7], Louisiana Sea Grant College
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aboveground biomass; Allometric scaling relationships; Biogeography; Blue carbon; Coastal environmental setting; Ecosystem; Level carbon; Forest structure
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Office > Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2022 03:22
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2022 03:22

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